Nick and Jon Lord hand in their notice to the Flowerpot Men, and get together with Ritchie Blackmore and Bobby Woodman in an old farmhouse in Hertfordshire. A management deal is secured, and they manage to cobble together a few tunes – without a vocalist…
Peter Brkusic from Nasty Habits has supplied us with a brief history of their new singer:
Attila Scholtz was born in Budapest, Hungary on 7 June 1973. He took two college degrees in teaching English as a foreign language, but he has always been more attracted to the stage than to schools. He formed his first band at the age of 14, and besides learning to play all the basic “rock instruments”, he soon started focusing on singing. His voice has been classically trained since 1995. In 2003, he was awarded “Singer of the Year” at the award show organised by Hungary’s biggest rock club, Wigwam. He has also learnt to play latin percussion and he’s a keen harmonica player. As a founding member and key figure of the Foundation for Hungarian Rock Musicians, Attila worked a lot for years to help young musicians get along in the weird world of music business.
He is most well-known, however, as founder and leader of Cry Free, the Hungarian Deep Purple Cover Band, one of the most authentic tribute acts in the whole world, looking back onto a 20-year career, during which they have given more than 500 shows in 8 countries, sometimes playing to thousands (their audience record: 9000 people). When the band celebrated Deep Purple’s 40th anniversary in 2008 with a huge concert, the members of the “real” Deep Purple welcomed them in a video message that they had recorded just for them beforehand.
Cry Free is perhaps the only tribute band in the world who have played with three original members of the group they represent on separate occasions. Perhaps the most outstanding of all these collaborations was the one with Jon Lord (R.I.P.), as the legendary keyboardist/composer toured the world playing his extraordinary show with some of the best symphony orchestras and conductors, and Cry Free. Until the great maestro’s untimely death, Attila and his band accompanied him on stage 14 times in 4 different countries, reaching as far as Asia.
Apart from Jon Lord (and other rock legends such as Ken Hensley of Uriah Heep and Bobby Rondinelli of Rainbow/Black Sabbath), Cry Free have also performed with founding Deep Purple members Ian Paice and Nick Simper. During the Simper collaboration, the bass player’s own band, Austrian musicians Nasty Habits made a mental note that singer Attila Scholtz may be of good use for them in the future. And indeed, when original NH singer Christian Schmied couldn’t make it to their Russian tour early 2015, they brought in the Hungarian singer, who came to the rescue. A few months later he was announced as an official member, and now the new Nasty Habits line-up complete with Attila Scholtz is awaiting a handful of shows this autumn with Nick Simper on board again, of course.
During August 2014, my lovely niece, Sophia Palombo, passed away after a long battle with cancer. Just 45 years old, she was the youngest of my late sister’s four daughters, a great girl who lived life to the full, always managing to laugh in the face of the dreadful illness that finally took her life. She was a real inspiration. Since Sophie’s passing I have attended five more funerals, all veteran musicians and associates who, unlike Sophie, thankfully enjoyed a reasonable lifespan, and i would like to pay tribute to each of them:
In September 2014 we said goodbye to bassist Steve Hargreaves. A pioneer of the West London scene, he will always be remembered for his work with Frankie Reid and The Casuals, amongst others. One of the gang who would hang out in Jim Marshall’s Hanwell shop, Steve was a skilled electronics engineer who could always fix a duff amplifier, as well as being one of the nicest people in the business!
In October 2014 we lost another real nice guy when Mick Burt passed away. I had followed his drumming career from the Canons to Cliff Bennett’s Rebel Rousers, and finally to Chas n’ Dave. When Dave Peacock took time out I joined Chas and Mick in their rock n’ roll trio, where it was an honour to play beside the man who many rated as England’s finest rock n’ roll drummer.
In early 2015 we said goodbye to one of the best guitarists that this country produced. Gerald “Ged” Peck was one of the most innovative and original players, and if there was any justice then he would be a household name! I met Ged in 1966 when we both played in the Mack Sound, the 18-strong soul outfit fromted by U.S. light-heavyweight boxing contender, Freddie Mack. Together we worked with Bilie Davis, Screaming Lord Sutch, the Flowerpot Men and Marsha Hunt, before forming Warhorse. His amazing speed made him stand out from the rest, and at that time few players could have matched him. I will always treasure the memory of being asked for Ged’s name by guitarist Robert Fripp, because as he said, “He’s the best guitarist I have ever seen!”.
April 29th 2015 saw the departure of one rock’s biggest characters, drummer Roger Pinah. Born into a family of circus performers, it was not long before young Roger became a serious drummer, and a stalwart of the Hanwell scene centred around Jim Marshall’s shop. I was lucky enough to turn professional in 1964, joining up with Roger in Buddy Britten and The Regents. Buddy renamed him Roger Truth, and it was in 1966 that he and I became the rhythm section for Johnny Kidd’s Pirates. Best known by the nick name ‘Solly’, Roger became firmly established as one of the best rock drummers in the country. For reasons best known only to himself, he turned down several offers from big-name acts, preferring to spend a couple of decades fronting small jazz combos, where he proved to be no slouch as a vocalist! Everyone who met Solly will never forget him. He was, as Pete Parks often said, the Max Miller of rock n’ roll!!
Finally in May this year, 2015, we said goodbye to another simply astounding drummer, the great Mac Poole. Mac proved to be one of the bravest of them all, having been diagnosed with so-called terminal cancer about 12 years ago. Undaunted, he continued to defy the odds, and kept on playing almost until the end. In 1970, searching for a new drummer for Warhorse, I offered the job to Sweet’s Mick Turner, who, saying that he was not good enough, urged me to find a bloke called Mac Poole! Finally, Mac was tracked down and agreed to join Warhorse, having missed the boat by turning down an offer from a new group called Led Zeppelin!! I had worked with many great drummers, but Mac took it to a new level, doing things that seemed impossible! In later years, Mac became a journeyman player when he should have been a superstar, but his great reputation always went ahead of him. A lovely bloke, affectionately known as ‘Mac the Mouth’, due to his ability to ‘talk the hind leg off a donkey’ he was, without doubt, one of the greatest drummers and will be sadly missed!
Well, that’s the end of the obituaries, hopefully for a long time.
On a happier note, June 20th 2015 saw the return to this country of one of rock’s greatest vocalists, namely James Royal – now residing in Australia. Jimmy came over and packed out the 100 Club in London’s Oxford Street, with a pick-up band including myself, Pete Parks, Simon Bishop and Terry Marshall. Jimmy wowed the crowd with two hours of vocal gymnastics, proving once again that he can blow most of rock’s big names clean off the planet! Well done Jim.
The brand new studio album “De La Frog Conspiracy” by NICK SIMPER & NASTY HABITS is out now. This is Nick Simper´s first studio album in 18 years! 11 new original songs, contemporary rock in the classic line-up at its best.
Copies signed by Nick Simper for 15 Euros only available from Nasty Habits.
Nick joins up with Jon Lord, Ged Peck and Carlo Little to form “Sundial” who manage to get a few of their own songs into the set as the Flowerpot Men tour Germany. Broken fan belts, 3-foot snowballs and lost passports ensure that it was a memorable trip!…